April 30, 2012

Vampire Prosecutor Season 1 – Episode 8 Korean Drama review

Episode 8 of Vampire Prosecutor, Season 1 opens with a car chase.

Looking out Detective Hwang's windshield at Detective Yoo's car blocking his way
Detective Hwang (Lee Won Jong) pursues a suspect fleeing from a murder scene. He calls for backup, and is startled when Prosecutor Yoo (Lee Young Ah) responds. Working together, they manage to corner the suspect, but
SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t seen this yet, stop here
then their cooperation falls apart, and the suspect escapes as they get in each others’ way.

Back at the crime scene the beautiful witness, niece of the deceased, is shaping up as a likely suspect. However, after drinking the blood, the Vampire Prosecutor (Yeon Jeong Hun) changes his mind on the rather sketchy grounds that someone who is upset about a death couldn’t possibly be the cause of it. Lee Young Ah is dismayed by this sudden flip-flop. Since no other explanation is offered, she assumes the suspect’s attractiveness influenced the men to accept her shaky story. Detective Hwang in turn assumes Prosecutor Yoo is envious, and offers patronizing compliments. Needless to say, this does not sooth her.

She confronts Vampire Prosecutor and sidekick on keeping her out of the loop, with a parting shot about their lack of teamwork. Ouch! That’s a grievous sin indeed in group-identified Korea. But 어떻게? They can’t tell her Prosecutor Min is a vampire who drinks the corpse’s blood!

Mina and Hwang look dismayed when Yoo confronts them on excluding her from the team

Offering what mollification he can, Prosecutor Min allows her to continue investigating the niece while he and Detective Hwang follow up on the missing boyfriend. The usual plot formula ensues, as the victim’s associates are probed. Prosecutor Min strays over into Prosecutor Yoo’s line when he questions sketch artists in the park. He ought to have left it to her. When interviewing artists about a crony, she probably would have thought to ask one of them to draw a sketch. Lee Won Jong’s questioning of an art shop owner who ribs him about his sexuality is a hoot – the comedic timing of this duo is impeccable.

Hwang kisses the art supply shop owner on the cheek

Visuals on the various suspects are hard to come by, and eventually we learn why, in a twist so improbable that it is topped only by the Vampire Prosecutor’s sudden psychological expertise. If he had applied the same insight to his blood-drinking vision, he could have saved a lot of time.

This particular twist will not be new to American viewers. As it happens, I watched a Korean horror film just last week with the same twist, so I’m exasperated by the overuse thereof. Is that unjust, since the film was made in 2003? Less critical fans must forgive me – I want so badly to see the content of this series live up to its fabulous form. I do realize that finding novel storylines for the popular police procedural genre is a tall order.

Meanwhile, back at the episode… Prosecutor Yoo shadows Prosecutor Min, and is pleased to redeem herself for episode 7’s debacle when she saves him from another stabbing.

Yoo holds a man who was about to attack Min with a knife
I, too, was gratified that she finally got to rescue him (see reviews for Episodes 1-3 and 4-5). Now if only she can learn not to nervously discount her own performance after bringing down a hoodlum twice her size.

When debt collectors become an imminent danger to the suspect, she calls in some surprising assistance. After the case is wrapped up, the Vampire Prosecutor queries her about that. She retorts that he should show his hand first if he wants to see hers. She is turning out to be an excellently Spunky Heroine!

Yoo walks past Min after refusing to explain her gang connections

The team has a post-case drink together, a new milestone as the Vampire Prosecutor has previously avoided this. Detective Hwang coaches Prosecutor Yoo on the proper way to corral a suspect, and dark hints fly about the potentially life-changing consequences of car chases. The party is interrupted by a call from Yoon Ji Hee (Jang Young Nam). By this time, she is the only remaining survivor of the 4 conspirators from Episode 4. She is cornered in a phone booth (a phone booth?? in the land of Samsung?) by an unseen assailant. She screams into the phone and the call ends abruptly as the episode closes.

Also with Yeon Jeong Hun:

More Vampire Prosecutor (Season 1) reviews
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